Variants in genes encoding ribosomal proteins have thus far been associated with Diamond-Blackfan anemia, a rare inherited bone marrow failure, and isolated congenital asplenia. Here, we report one de novo missense variant and three de novo splice variants in RPL13, which encodes ribosomal protein RPL13 (also called eL13), in four unrelated individuals with a rare bone dysplasia causing severe short stature. The three splice variants (c.477+1G>T, c.477+1G>A, and c.477+2 T>C) result in partial intron retention, which leads to an 18-amino acid insertion. In contrast to observations from Diamond-Blackfan anemia, we detected no evidence of significant pre-rRNA processing disturbance in cells derived from two affected individuals. Consistently, we showed that the insertion-containing protein is stably expressed and incorporated into 60S subunits similar to the wild-type protein. Erythroid proliferation in culture and ribosome profile on sucrose gradient are modified, suggesting a change in translation dynamics. We also provide evidence that RPL13 is present at high levels in chondrocytes and osteoblasts in mouse growth plates. Taken together, we show that the identified RPL13 variants cause a human ribosomopathy defined by a rare skeletal dysplasia, and we highlight the role of this ribosomal protein in bone development.
Keywords: RPL13; Spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia; bone dysplasia; chondrodysplasia; ribosome; short stature.
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